Case Studies for a Genetics Unit: A Review

I recently went through the Case Studies on that amazing National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science website, and I scoured it for case studies that I could potentially use in my genetics unit for 9th grade biology. Here’s what I found:

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Designer Babies 101?

gene editing

Some scientists just got permission to edit human genomes in vitro. I’ve been talking about this with my classes–the “what if” factor, but this time, it’s real.

Read more here.

Twinning

I have this one class. I sometimes wonder whether or not they have a pulse. I’ve tried all year long to get them excited, but every time I try, all I get is… cricket cricket.

Today though, we talked about how humans get genetic diversity through meiosis and such, and we were talking about how there’s a tiny tiny chance (about 1 in 200 billion) of making a person exactly identical to you. All of a sudden, I had their attention. Then someone asked: Has it ever been done before? Had two people that were genetically identical but who weren’t identical twins? #extracredit. I guess we’ll see tomorrow.

But until then, I found some super cool resources that I’d love to show them one day when I get to the twin mini-lesson.

I’d love to show them this image: identical twins marrying identical twins and having babies:

twins marrying twins

And have them read this article: A Thing or Two About Twins from National Geographic to give them the twins perspective on being twins.

I would also love to delve into the nature versus nurture issue: do our genes make us who we are or is it the environment?